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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

4                                                                  MATHUBX.

produced a memoir which will not merely serve as a reference with regard to the
district it describes, but is of historical, archaeological,. ethnological, philological, and
artistic information besides.—Lahore Civil and Military Gazette.

Mr. F. S. Growse has published a second edition of his MatJiurd: a District Memoir,
the first edition -of which we noticed in this paper when the work first appeared
In 1874. The author is well known not only as a scholar and archaeologist, but
by the great service he has done in rescuing from utter ruin and oblivion many of the
interesting remnants of native art and architecture with which the Mathura district—
the classic land of the Hindus—abounds. Of his labours in this direction we have
already spoken at some length in Vol. IS. of the Indo-European Correspondence (pp.
130 and 148), in our notice of the first edition of Mr. Growse's work. Since it first
appeared the author has, we regret to say, been transferred from Mathurd, where he
was Magistrate and Collector, to Bulandshahr. During the three years' interval
between the first appearance of his Memoir and his removal to another station be had
added largely to his stock of local information, and beingr, as he tells us, unwilling
that the fruits of his labour should be lost, he asked and obtained the sanction of
Government for tbe issue of a second edition from the Allahabad press. The work
now appears much enlarged and enriched—among other things—by upwards of tbirty
handsome illustrations.
One of Mr, Growse's acts while be was at Mathura was the erection of a Catholio
chapel, a work which it can hardly be contested is valuable if only as an experiment
of a very sound principle—namely, the utilising of native art to form an appropriate
and characteristic style of Christian architecture in India. The Mathura chapel,
Mr. Growse says, is intended as "a protest against the * standard plans and other
stereotyped conventionalities'" of the Public "Works Department; but it seems to us
to be, at all events, implicitly a protest as well against the unfortunate tendency there
is among Europeans in India to Earopeanize whatever falls under the influence of
Christianity. We call this tendency unfortunate because it not only unnecessarily
•widens the already wide chasm between Christianity and paganism; not only because
it practically ignores the existence of natrre art as if it were an essentially unholy
barbarism, "but because the tendency aims at what is really impracticable.
Mr. Growae's lines had fallen on a nursery of Hiudu art which survives in
M&thnra to the present day. That art, though pagan, contains much that is really
great and noble in conception and in workmanship, and he has essayed to show how
it may he made the handmaid of Christian gothic art in the construction of the
Mathuri chapel The photograph of the interior, though it represents the building ae
much more sombre than it probably is in reality, justifies the architect's saying that
religious and picturesque in effect The view is a diagonal one, and. shows